Is the Mercury V12 Verado 600hp outboard the top engine in 2021?

Mercury V12 Verado 600hp on the 36 R-Evolution
Mercury V12 Verado 600hp on the 36 R-Evolution – Photo: Motor Boats

What is the most cutting-edge marine engine of 2021? Between electric and non-electric motors, this year saw dozens of new products arrive. If we stay in the realm of those already in serial production and already boasting a large number of applications, the field narrows. At this point let’s take a look at the award ceremonies at the world’s major technology events-the CES in Las Vegas and the METS Trade in Amsterdam. What do the two events taking place thousands of miles apart have in common? The new Mercury V12 Verado 600hp outboard,(we anticipated it here) the most powerful currently in production.

Mercury V12 Verado 600hp

At CES 2022, Mercury Marine won its second consecutive CES Innovation Award with its very latest. In 2021 to be awarded was the 1st Mate Marine System technology. This event is actually one of the most important in the world in terms of technological innovation, and the victory of a marine-related product certainly indicates the goodness of this project.

The value of this new outboard here in Europe earned it a special mention at the DAME Awards as part of the METS Trade. The DAME jury’s commentary traces the most salient elements of this outboard.

“The Verado 600hp is an engineering tour de force, a gasoline V12 outboard equipped with a pivoting foot with a counter-rotating propeller. A surprising and brilliantly designed response given the market shift from inboard to outboard.”


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Mercury V12 Verado 600hp – Features

Launched in February 2021, the Mercury V12 Verado 600hp outboard promises outstanding fuel economy and range, less carbon emissions through a combination of features:

  • integrated automatic transmission
  • Dual, advanced and counter-rotating propellers
  • Mercury Advanced Range Optimisation (ARO) lean combustion strategy.
  • Closed-loop fuel control.

Mercury V12 Verado 600hp – Our Test

Thanks to Mercury Marine Italia, we had the opportunity to test the new Mercury V12 Verado 600hp on board two boats: the Nuova Jolly Prince 43 CC and the R-evolution X-36, both with 1,200 total horsepower. These engines are not created for pure speed, but to have extraordinary thrust and thus adapt to heavier units as well. This is what the DAME jury is referring to on the transition from inboard to outboard. It is precisely to cover a segment of larger boats, usually powered by inboards, that these engines were designed. In any case, aboard the two ribs mentioned above, we were able to assay their characteristics and qualities, with a good deal of fun given the maximum speeds touched: 55.8 on the New Jolly and 62.1 knots on the Mar.Co.

Mercury V12 Verado 600hp
Mercury V12 Verado 600hp – Photo: Motor Boats

The first feature that is noted on the ground is the simplification of maintenance operations. Thanks to a hatch on the top of the grille checking or replacing essential components is possible even while sailing. According to the booklet, either 1,000 hours or five years of use must pass before the entire calender must be disassembled for further maintenance.

Mercury V12 Verado 600hp – How they work

From a technical point of view, we are talking about an outboard engine that introduces a rotary foot for the first time. Similarly, it is also the first time for a two-speed transmission. Thanks to this solution in first gear you get maximum torque and powerful acceleration and then switch (almost imperceptibly) to second gear automatically.

New Jolly Prince 43 CC with two Mercury V12 Verado 600hp
New Jolly Prince 43 CC with two Mercury V12 Verado 600hp – Photo: Motor Boats

In the tests we conducted, gradually accelerating 500 rpm by 500 rpm, the engines held first gear until about 3,000 rpm before shifting. Instead, accelerating from zero to full throttle, the engines hold first gear until 5,000 rpm before shifting.

Mercury V12 Verado 600hp on the 36 R-Evolution
Mercury V12 Verado 600hp on the 36 R-Evolution – Photo: Motor Boats

This engine is the first V12 outboard in history, and to harness all the power available Mercury Marine has designed a new set of dual, counter-rotating propellers. It is these that give maximum grip on the water (and thus better maneuverability), but also cruise speed and glide with reduced fuel consumption.

In the test, we were also able to appreciate the ease of maneuvering, particularly at mooring, given by the combination of the rotary foot and joystick maneuvering with Joystick Piloting system.

Mercury V12 Verado 600hp on the 36 R-Evolution - Photo by: Motor Boats
Mercury V12 Verado 600hp on the 36 R-Evolution – Photo: Motor Boats

Assuming an ideal cruising speed at about 30 knots, it is interesting to see how the two inflatables tested performed. Aboard the first Marco 36 R-Evolution, which weighs 2,400 kg dry, there were 7 people on board, filled with 150 liters of water and 750 liters of fuel.

On board the Prince 43 CC, dry weight of 4,500 kg, were 8 people, 1,100 liters of fuel and 150 liters of water.

Cruising speed

Mark 36 R-Evolution 2 x Mercury V12 Verado 600hp 3500 rpm – 30 knots – 102 lt/h
New Jolly Prince 43 CC 2 x Mercury V12 Verado 600hp 4000 rpm – 30.6 knots – 132 lt/h

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